Prosecutors dropped involuntary manslaughter charges against Amagansett resident Alec Baldwin in the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, with the case being formally dismissed on Friday. In a statement, the special prosecutors in the case said that there are new facts that make it impossible to proceed against the actor in the allotted time.
However, prosecutors Jason Lewis and Kari Morrissey stated the investigation is “active and ongoing,” and the charges could be refiled later on.
An involuntary manslaughter charge against weapons supervisor on the film, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, remains in place.
In March, Rust safety coordinator and assistant director David Halls was convicted after pleading no contest to unsafe handling of a firearm. He received six months probation on a suspended sentence. Halls agreed to cooperate in the investigation of the fatal shooting, but also asserted that he never believed Baldwin should have been charged with a crime.
On April 21, under a photo of him and his wife, Hilaria, Baldwin shared on Instagram, “I owe everything I have to this woman. “And to you, Luke,” probably referring to his lawyer Luke Nikas, who represented the actor in the case.
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In a statement to multiple outlets, Nikas and fellow Baldwin attorney Alex Spiro said, “We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic incident.”
Baldwin has been put through the wringer since his October 2021 accidental shooting of Hutchins on the set of Rust, including lawsuits from the victim’s family and crew members, police investigation and a prosecution that has been a total disaster, according to Insider.
“I’ve never seen a prosecutor have to retreat with her tail between her legs in my more than 20 years of doing this like I have with the Santa Fe DA,” West Coast Trial Lawyers president Neama Rahmani (who is not involved with the case) told Insider, adding, “…it was a terrible case that’s been botched at every stage of the investigation and the prosecution.”
Rust has resumed filming.
-With Associated Press